The state of Alaska has sued the Alaska State Employees Association to block the automatic collection of union dues from unionized employees and stresses the need to protect employee rights in the First Amendment to the Constitution. The complaint was filed Monday in Anchorage Superior Court. Asked why the issue is not a matter of contract negotiation, Mills wrote that the state “cannot wait to respect the Constitution and that the rights of public employees of the First Amendment of the Constitution are not something that can be negotiated.” In late August, Clarkson issued a legal opinion that the state had not properly rendered its judgment and that it would be appropriate for unionized employees to confirm their union membership each year. According to the state`s personnel profile for 2018, Alaska has 14,546 public employees, and all but about 1225 were represented by a union. ASEA represents about 8,000 of these employees and is the largest public union of public employees. (The National Education Association has more members in Alaska, but teacher contracts are with school districts, not the state.) “Given the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the resources required to conduct these issues, the Attorney General has decided that it is worthy to gain the firm`s expertise in this important case and benefit from it,” Mills wrote in an email. She said her contract with the state could be presented “in the coming days.” James Brooks, based in Juneau, reports on the state government, the Alaska Legislature and general duties for the Daily News.